Stopping COVID Cold

By Bradford Sherman 
CFAES/South Centers

One of the newest Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) clients is poised to play an important role in delivering a crucial COVID-19 vaccine to Americans.

Stirling Ultracold is a manufacturer of ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers, the kind necessary for transporting large doses of such a vaccine across the country. The MEP program at The Ohio State University South Centers is helping the Athens-based company prepare for such a monumental task.

“We are providing consultants to help prepare Stirling for a massive launch of freezers to transport potential COVID-19 vaccines,” explained Dawn Coleman, the MEP Growth Advisor working closely with Stirling Ultracold on the project.

“OSU South Centers MEP strives to partner with businesses to lead in technologies and innovations, giving them their competitive edge,” added MEP Program Manager Doug Anderson. “We are proud to partner with Stirling Ultracold, one of our nation’s leaders in COVID cure solutions.”

Stirling Ultracold currently offers the only commercially available ULT freezers that can safely maintain temperatures from -86°C to -20°C and meet the cold storage efficacy requirements of most COVID-19 vaccine candidates, regardless of which are ultimately approved.

“Our breakthrough cooling technology makes the Stirling Ultracold line of ULT freezers uniquely efficient, lightweight, and flexible enough to meet today’s unprecedented COVID-19 vaccine cold chain deployment challenges,” Stirling says via its website, stirlingultracold.com, where you can read more about the technology.

Connecting manufactures, like Stirling, with consulting services is just one of the many ways MEP provides high value, affordable solutions to help businesses increase profitability. Services MEP can offer include operational support and quality, workforce development, cybersecurity, and advanced manufacturing technology.

“We have developed a wide range of services and initiatives that enable manufacturers to accelerate business growth, strengthen business improvements, and mitigate business risk,” added Anderson. “Our aim is to bolster our manufacturing partners’ competitiveness in the global marketplace.”

The project with Stirling Ultracold, secured by Coleman, is the largest ever for the MEP program at OSU South Centers. 
It is also one of the most important, as the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the health of Americans and the U.S. economy.

“This is opportunity to not only create additional workforce in southeastern Ohio, but to help potentially save thousands of businesses across the country. Most importantly, though, this is a project that has the potential to help save hundreds of thousands of lives,” Coleman said.

To learn more about the MEP program at OSU South Centers, or to find out what it can do for your company, visit southcenters.osu.edu/manufacturing-extension-partnership. You can also call 740-289-2071.